Language Lovers

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1. COBUILD English Usage: Updating the examples

In the first of our blog posts about the new edition of COBUILD English Usage, Penny Hands details some of the changes she made to the examples to ensure they reflect changes in society, and ponders on how future-proof these changes are likely to be. One of our aims… Read More

Life on the Edge – Extreme Survival

The desire to push the boundaries has been a motivator in many a daring expedition, testing the human spirit and physical abilities to the utmost. The publication of the latest edition of Extreme Survivors contains stories of people who were motivated to do just that in their quest for… Read More

Impossible and Tardigrade : August’s Words in the News

When you write a blog about “Words in the News”, it’s easy to assume the best words will be neologisms: literally, “new words”. But, in truth, the thing that makes my lexicographer’s heart go pitter-patter are new uses for old words. I love it when an established, even common word… Read More

A Brief History of Survival

We tend to think of ‘survival’ as something that happens in the face of a catastrophe. However, the original survivors didn’t have to try very hard or do anything especially heroic. They simply lived on after someone else had died. In fact, to survive literally means to ‘live beyond’. Read More

The Apollo 11 Moon Landing – 50 years of lunar language

To mark the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s ‘small step’ on 20th July 1969, we’ve been exploring lunar language. Look up the words below to find out more about all things moon-related so that you have the vocabulary that you need to join the conversation around this momentous day. Read More

From the Archives: The Cloak and Dagger Expedition

Here at the HarperCollins Archive, there are many accounts written by explorers of vast deserts, climbers of the highest peaks and survivors of treacherous seas. This month, we are shining the spotlight on the three mountaineers who formed the first ever female-led expedition in the Himalayas. Their names are Monica… Read More

Extract from Extreme Survivors foreword

Having spent my life in so many dangerous and at times unforgiving terrains, I have learnt that to come out the other side alive you have to find the spirit to keep going, whatever the cost. As individuals we cannot conquer a mountain or a storm, but we can learn… Read More

7 Extreme Weather Idioms

Around the world people experience many examples of extreme weather, such as tornadoes, blizzards, thunderstorms and heatwaves. These phenomena can be unexpected and unpredictable, so here are seven extreme idioms to help you weather even the wildest storm!… Read More